Do not pick the 1400 over the 7800!!! The 7800 is several times more powerful. The 1400 is only a 6800 with opengl optimizations. The 7800GTX is faster memory, faster clock, faster fill, better shaders, better cooled. If you were deciding 1400vs6800, I would say 1400, but the 7800 is just more powerful.
I use Maya 8, 3dsmax 8, Realflow 4, and a bit of blender and the 7800GTX is a freaking charm on the viewports. And whoever was talking about "end product"... renders are finalised in software mode, you don't use a video card for production renders. they can't raytrace, they have no atmospherics, no support for subdivision surfaces and LOD, watered down shaders, no volumetrics, no global illumination, no subsurface scattering (these last two came about in the 7000 series but it's still crappy approximations). It takes Pixar 40 minutes to render a full HD frame with their Opteron servers.
This is an old thread, but if someone is thinking about something similar, do not spend your money on a 1400 if you can get your hands on the hot 7800! now, if you can get your hands on the quadro 1500 (equivalent to the 7900gs) or the 2500 (equivalent to the 7950gtx) or even the 3500 (good luck with that), make sure it's compatible with your laptop and let her rip!
edit: just because a card is "not qualified" doesn't mean it won't work. it'll be hard to put one of the more recent game cards in a bind. they are all opengl capable. it's just a scheme to make professionals pay more for firegl's and quadro's. they are indeed a bit faster at opengl than their gamer counterparts, but if you ask me, the difference is small. the cards are identical in construction, you can actually flash the BIOS of one into its brother and make it work like its brother (look up "soft mods")